New Delhi: Calling the Delhi assembly election “a moment to transform the politics of India”, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) yesterday pledged to bring about a radical transformation of power structure so that people get to rule themselves.
Besides cutting electricity tariff by half, enacting a Lokpal bill to battle corruption, providing potable water to every home and ensuring the safety of minorities, the year-old AAP said its aim was to see that the city’s residents ceased to be dependent on legislators and officials.
AAP leader Yogendra Yadav said while releasing the manifesto for the December 4 election that the AAP would undertake a “radical experiment” of decentralising power by setting up around 3,000 “mohalla sabhas” across the national capital.
These Sabhas would be funded, and people would decide what they want for their areas — parks, streetlights, dispensaries and so on. The decisions won’t be left to legislators or officials, Yadav told reporters. Yadav said the proposed Lokpal bill aimed at battling corruption would cover all employees of the Delhi government “from the chief minister to a peon”.
The party vowed to slash electricity tariff by half and overhaul the electricity distribution which it said was being manipulated by some power discoms or distribution companies.
“We will order an audit of the discoms, inflated bills will be rectified and electricity meters would be checked by independent agencies,” said Yadav, flanked by party leaders Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia.
As far as water supply to Delhi’s residents was concerned, families which curtail the monthly usage to 700 litres would not be billed, he said.
The AAP would also strive to bring Delhi Police, the Delhi Development Authority and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi under the control of the Delhi government.
The federal government now controls all three.
Yadav promised protection of minorities and said “fake encounters and false cases against Muslim youth shall end”.
The AAP, which has made the Delhi election a three-way affair for the first time, underlined the significance of the
December 4 electoral battle in which it faces both the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“The possibility of Swaraj is knocking at the doors of Delhi,” Yadav said. “If this electoral battle is won in Delhi, it would open the whole country to the winds of change.”
The AAP, he said, was not just another political party.
“It has risen from the struggles of Ramlila Maidan and Jantar Mantar,” he said, referring to the hunger strikes against corruption launched by Gandhian activist Anna Hazare and the present leaders of AAP.
“It is a party that is not here merely to fight elections, it is here to change the rules of the game. It is here to rewrite the politics of this country.” IANS